The soft drinks group, Coca-Cola Amatil, reported a net profit before one-off items for 2002 of A$205.5m, 20% up on A$171m the year before and ahead of Amatil's own forecast. The company said the result was boosted by cost savings and the launch of new products such as Vanilla Coke in Australia. Amatil has also forecast a 10% to 15% increase in net profit for 2003.

The A$447.8m profit recorded by the Australasian Coke bottler in 2001 had been boosted by the sale of its Philippines operations but, excluding the sale, the 2001 comparable figure was A$171m.

Revenues from ongoing businesses at Amatil, which is 35%-owned by Coca-Cola, rose by 4.9% to A$3.4 billion, with volumes up 1.3%. EBIT margin was up 0.9% points at 12.3%. The company said it booked more than A$10m in savings last year.

In Australia, the company's core market which accounts for 75% of Amatil's earnings, the launch of new products such as Vanilla Coke and Diet Coke with Lemon helped to boost earnings which rose by almost 10% to A$317m on volumes 3.9% higher

Amatil also posted a 76% increase in EBIT from South Korea to A$62m, on the back of staff reductions and greater focus on supermarkets which reduced distribution costs. Although earnings from Indonesia fell by 46% to A$21.4m, Amatil's CEO, Terry Davis, was sanguine about the Indonesian market and said the company had no plans to sell its operations there.